Riitta Lahtinen & Russ Palmer report:

This message is meant to clarify the aims and objectives of this new DbI network that was accepted by DbI in July 2012. Currently this network consists of professionals, deafblind and family members who wish to share their experiences in using social-haptic communication methods and techniques. Social-haptic communication includes haptices (touch messages), which are made of haptemes or grammar elements. Touch messages are applied between two or more people (person to person) in a social context.



  • To establish an international network for the interchange of ideas and experiences.
  • Provide training and distribution of information improving services for visually and/or hearing impaired and deafblind people.
  • Organising meetings, workshops and seminars
  • Writing joint articles from different countries
  • Expanding research on social-haptic communication



International symposia and seminars have been organised in co-operation with different institutions. The first conference “Touch You, Touch Me” was organised in Helsinki 2010. The first Finnish 3-study point national course on social-haptic communication for professionals, including interpreters, has now been established in cooperation with the network. Basic level social-haptic communication has been also established in the UK with the Ear Foundation (Cochlear Implant organisation for families and professionals) in Nottingham and with the Royal Association for the Deaf (RAD) near London.